With high expectations coming into 2019-2020, WVU swim coach Vic Riggs was not expecting both his men’s and women’s swim and dive teams to come home empty handed at their season opener at Penn State this past weekend.
On Friday night, the Mountaineers men’s swim team lost to Penn State, 167-125, at the McCoy Natatorium in University Park, Pennsylvania.
The WVU men were only able to capture five victories in the meet with two coming from freshman Hunter Armstrong, who was making his collegiate debut.
Junior David Dixon, as well as sophomore Josh Harlan, each picked up a win, while senior Sam Neaveill, junior Ryen Van Wyk and junior Christopher O'Shea contributed towards a relay win.
Nick Cover, a sophomore diver, picked up a win on the 3-meter springboard.
Despite the loss, there were signs of positivity in the water according to Riggs.
"We have discussed patience and swimming correctly, and we did that tonight,” Riggs said. “Although we lost the meet, we came away with many positives we can take moving forward. Winning the 400 freestyle relay showed the fight this group has, and I'm really proud of them for that."
The women’s team competed on Saturday with Penn State, losing by a score of 173-115.
"Overall, today was a good start for the women's team," Riggs said. "Emily's win in the 50 freestyle, along with strong performances by Morgan in the 200 butterfly and 200 individual medley, led the way today.”
The WVU women were able to win four events. Freshman Emily Haimes played a key role, assisting in three victories.
In addition to Haimes’ two wins, senior Morgan Bullock took home a win. In a relay win, sophomore Emma Bliss, senior Julia Nilton and junior Giselle Gursoy each contributed for WVU.
The Mountaineers will be back in action on Friday, Nov. 1 and Saturday, Nov. 2 at the West Virginia State Games, which will be the inaugural event at the new Aquatic Center at Mylan Park in Morgantown.